Study medicine without A-levels

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

MUDr. Andreas Zehetner

CO-Founder of futuredoctor

Reading time: 7 Minuten
Last updated: 11 April 2024

📖 Table of contents

The idea of studying medicine is dismissed by many prospective students because the prevailing belief is that you have no chance of getting a place at university without a 1.0 A-level anyway. But this is wrong. And not only that: it is even possible to study medicine without any A-levels at all! In this article, you will find all the relevant information about the options for studying medicine without an Abitur. So you can fulfil your dream of a career as a doctor after all.

Are you interested in studying medicine?

We are happy to advise you free of charge about your options for studying medicine, including medical studies in other EU countries that are fully recognised in Germany.

Alternative routes into medical school

In general, you need a university entrance qualification to study medicine. You receive this with your Abitur certificate and can then apply for a study place in Germany.

There are also options, Studying medicine with a specialised baccalaureate.

If you want to take your chance at studying medicine without an Abitur, you have three different options for obtaining a university entrance qualification.

Option 1: Access to higher education through advanced vocational training

The advanced vocational training programme is not only for applicants who have completed advanced training in the healthcare sector, but is also just as interesting for anyone who has no previous experience in the medical field. If you fulfil one of the following requirements, you have the opportunity to apply to study medicine:

  • Completed training / further training in the healthcare sector or in the social care and social education sector, e.g.
  1. Carer
  2. geriatric nurse
  3. Nutritionist
  4. Specialist paediatric nurse
  5. Specialist for outpatient care
  • Master craftsman examination according to the Crafts Code, e.g.
  1. Master optician
  2. Master baker
  3. Master roofer
  4. Master hairdresser
  5. Master painter
  6. Master dental technician
  • Training qualification that includes at least 400 hours, such as
  1. Master gardener
  2. Animal caretaker
  3. Master winemaker
  • Technical college degree

Option 2: University entrance with relevant vocational training

Under certain conditions, you can apply for a subject-specific university entrance qualification and study medicine without an Abitur. Previous medical experience is essential. The requirements include

  • Secondary school leaving certificate
  • Completed vocational training (minimum duration of training: 2 years, grade in final certificate better than 2.5); examples:
  1. Medical assistant
  2. Occupational therapist
  3. Healthcare and nursing assistant
  4. Medical assistant
  5. Emergency paramedic
  • At least three years of professional experience in the medical field

Option 3: University entrance with non-specialised vocational training and entrance examination

You can also qualify for the application process for a medical degree programme with a non-specialist vocational training without an Abitur. You should fulfil the following requirements:

  • Vocational training in a non-medical field (minimum duration 2 years)
  • 3 years of professional activity, e.g.
  1. Voluntary military service Federal voluntary service
  2. Voluntary Social Year (FSJ)
  3. Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ)
  4. Work as a development worker
  • Further completed vocational training of at least two years
  • Part-time jobs

The following can also be taken into account: bringing up a minor child, primary responsibility and independent housekeeping, caring for a relative

If you would like to apply via this applicant group, you must take an entrance exam.

Together for success - futuredoctor and studying medicine abroad

Do you want to study medicine abroad and are looking for the most suitable university for you and don't really know where to start looking for the right country and a good university? futuredoctor is happy to support you!

Besides the Student advisory service In addition to selecting the university and accompanying you to the desired on-site appointments, futuredoctor also offers support during the application process and preparation for possible aptitude tests, as well as orientation at the place of study - including the search for accommodation! Get your application quickly and easily free info pack!

The direct university entrance qualification

With university admission through advanced vocational training or relevant vocational training, you will receive a direct university entrance qualification when applying for a place to study medicine.

By holding one of these qualifications and the direct university entrance qualification, you are subject to the same rules as prospective students with an Abitur. This means that you do not have to take an additional entrance exam to prove your ability.

How can I improve my application grade in the admission procedure for medical studies?

As your university entrance qualification is automatically assessed with a grade of 4.0 on Hochschulstart via the advanced vocational training programme, you should consider voluntarily taking an entrance exam. This could significantly increase your chances of being accepted at your university of choice.

What content can you expect in the entrance exam?

The additional entrance examination, which you will need in any case if you are applying to study medicine with a non-specialist vocational qualification, primarily tests your technical and methodological requirements. No previous medical knowledge is required. Your knowledge in subjects such as German, biology, chemistry and maths will be tested in four written and one oral exam. There may also be occasional questions on general knowledge or topics such as politics or economics.

How can you prepare for the entrance exam?

In order to prepare well for the entrance exam, you should inform yourself in detail about the contents of the exam. As the exam is university-specific, you can find all the relevant information on the website of your chosen university. Learning material for preparation is usually also provided there.

Study medicine abroad without A-levels

You also have the opportunity to study medicine abroad without an Abitur. For example, there are some universities in the USA, Turkey, Bulgaria and Slovakia that accept international applicants to study medicine without an Abitur. Admission there is usually based on an entrance test, a letter of motivation and a personal interview.

As usual, we will be happy to help you with your selection and preparation. You are welcome to make a non-binding appointment with our Student advisory service true and order your free info pack.

Frequently asked questions

FAQs on studying medicine without A-levels

Yes, it is possible to study medicine without an Abitur. There are alternative ways to obtain a university entrance qualification to study medicine.

In addition to the Abitur, you can also obtain a university entrance qualification for medical studies with a vocational baccalaureate or through advanced vocational training.

If you have completed training or further training in the healthcare or social care sector as well as a master craftsman's examination in accordance with the Crafts Code, you can apply to study medicine.

Qualifications such as nursing specialist, geriatric nurse, nutritionist, but also master craftsman examinations in various trades can provide access to medical studies.

Yes, under certain conditions, such as a completed vocational training programme in the medical field and relevant professional experience, you can study medicine without an Abitur.

People with non-specialist vocational training can qualify for medical studies by taking an entrance examination. The upbringing of a minor child or caring for a relative can also be recognised.

With advanced vocational training or vocational training in a relevant subject, you receive a direct university entrance qualification for medical studies without having to take an additional entrance examination.

The application grade for advanced vocational training is automatically given a grade of 4.0. Voluntary participation in an entrance examination can increase the chances of admission.

The entrance examination tests subject-specific and methodological requirements. It comprises written examinations in subjects such as German, biology, chemistry, maths and an oral examination.

Yes, there are universities abroad, for example in the USA, Turkey, Bulgaria or Slovakia, that accept international students for medical studies without a high school diploma. Admission is often based on entrance tests, letters of motivation and personal interviews.

Starting shot

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